We have all heard the adage that carrots are good for our eyes but why is that exactly and what other foods can improve the health of our eyes?
Carrots are high in beta carotene that our bodies can convert to vitamin A which is important for the light detecting cells of our retina.
Other important nutrients for our eyes are the antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin which naturally occur in our retina as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Zinc. These antioxidants may help protect against free radical damage in diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
You will be able to get a good supply all of these in your diet if you incorporate dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli and peas; bright coloured vegetables like corn, capsicum, sweet potato, squash; fruits like oranges, grapes, kiwifruit and berries and healthy nuts and seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds and peanut butter. Finally, red meat, whole grains, baked beans and eggs will assist with getting your zinc quota.
Omega 3 fatty acids have shown in some studies to help with dry eyes. This may be because omega 3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and improve the makeup of our tears. If you suffer with dry eye disease, try to incorporate non fried, cold water fatty fish like salmon, tuna or sardines two to four times per week. Choosing grass fed over grain fed meat sources will also increase omega 3 intake.
Good nutrition at all ages is important for overall health and wellbeing including that of our eyes. Come in and see one of our optometrists if you have any concerns about your eye health. Contact us at Eyecare Plus Parkes, 267A Clarinda Street or call us on 6863 5577.